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How does flying affect people with sleep apnea?

It makes sense that the environment on a plane could exacerbate someone’s sleep apnea. (It exacerbates a lot of things, like people’s patience and flexibility.) Oxygen and pressure levels can change, and compounding the problem is the fact people who suffer from sleep apnea generally have higher metabolic demands during flights. In other words, their bodies--especially their hearts--have to work harder to stay fully oxygenated. It doesn’t help that many people who suffer from sleep apnea have another problem: obesity. The two often go hand in hand.

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Should I avoid any activities if I have sleep apnea?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.